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Lay of the Land

Oil Trumps Art | Hummer and Hummerer| Phony Fire Protection | Small Fry | A Fish With Friends | Bold Strokes | Ecoterrorist Legislation | WWatch | On Wal-Mart Pond | Updates

Bold Strokes

Trek Aid
Most of the hundreds of thousands of adventure travelers who trek through Nepal each year take along basic medical supplies. Idaho resident Janice Belson is trying to persuade them to double their purchases, and leave the extras behind at the isolated and poorly equipped health posts that dot the country. "When I first went through 11 years ago," she says, "I was struck by the pervasive blindness," a result of vitamin A deficiency. So she returned with enough vitamin A for 3,000 kids, and now organizes annual distribution expeditions through her organization, Medicines for Nepal.

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Water Under the Bridge
San Francisco’s board of supervisors has okayed $2 million to study the feasibility of harnessing the tides rushing through the Golden Gate. The water could generate 2,000 megawatts, twice as much as the city currently uses. Since the technology to tap the tides has no moving parts, its effect on sea life is expected to be minimal, and since it lies on the seabed, there’s nothing to obstruct the famous view.

Efficiency Vermont is a new kind of utility. It has no nuclear reactors, no coal-burning plants, no dams, yet in the last three years it’s generated nearly 100,000 megawatt-hours in electricity savings. That’s more than 13,800 Vermont households use in a year. Unlike other states that leave energy-efficiency to the same utilities that sell the power (an inherent conflict of interest), Vermont set up an organization that has no other purpose than to promote energy-efficient design, construction, lighting, and appliances. —Paul Rauber


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